Nutrition for Senior & Three Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Appetite Loss

Lack of appetite is common among seniors and can be due to several causes. Some common reasons for a lack of appetite include medication distorting the taste of food, depression, a slower metabolism, diminishing sense of smell or taste, or even certain foods becoming too strenuous to eat. However, ensuring proper nutrition for yourself or a senior loved one is still essential to maintaining overall health. 

Ensuring a balanced amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, and oil are key to promoting a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, one should seek to lower their intake of foods with added sugar and solid fats, which tend to be high in saturated and trans fats and cholesterol.

A balanced diet not only provides physical benefits but also helps promote mental health. Protein, for example, aids the immune system and helps maintain muscles. Remember, it’s always recommended to speak with your physician to help determine the correct amount of each food group and nutritional needs. 

Some things you can do to help those with diminished appetites.

  1. It may sound intuitive, but simply making food easier to eat can help ensure your loved one is getting enough nutrients. Certain foods may be too difficult to chew or cut, so cutting food into smaller pieces, or even pureeing meals is a way to help ensure eating is not strenuous. Similarly, opting for a nutrient-rich soup or smoothie instead of a solid meal might be a good meal alternative. 
  2. If your main concern is that your loved one isn’t eating enough, it’s okay to offer food they are craving, even if it isn’t the most healthy choice. Offering a small portion of a craving may help stimulate the appetite and is okay in moderation. 
  3. While you may have heard that eating three square meals a day is ideal, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, having smaller meals throughout the day can be beneficial to those with appetite loss. What’s most important is that nutritional needs are being met. 

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